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What Health Care Shoppers Really Want

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(More by Jan Dubauskas: 5 Reasons Why Health Insurance Agents Should Sell Life Insurance)

After all of the effort that has gone into trying to make health care more affordable and more accessible over the past 10 years, consumers still have concerns.

HealthPocket recently conducted a consumer survey and gathered data on some of those concerns.

They Want Help With Affordability

Health care costs continue to rise, and consumers are feeling the pinch.

About 85% of the consumers who participated in the HealthPocket survey said they think medical care is too expensive.

What is even more striking is the 51% of consumers who said they have avoided medical care due to an inability to pay.

The survey also revealed that 41% of consumers have at some time been unable to pay a bill, and that 27% of consumers currently have medical debt.

These survey results show us that consumers are paying for many services out of pocket, either due to high deductibles, lack of coverage for certain services, or lack of insurance.

The survey reveals that the cost of health care is impacting the overall health of our consumers, who are making decisions about their health based on their wallets.

During open enrollment, we have the opportunity to approach consumers who are otherwise uninsured or underinsured and help them find the right coverage options.

We also have the opportunity to educate consumers about how they can find affordable solutions to their health care needs without blowing their budget. Some ways to cut costs include: using a telemedicine provider for routine medical issues such as the flu, a rash or infection. In addition, consumers can look to local Minute Clinics for affordable physicals, strep throat and more.

They Want Someone to Make It All Easy to Understand

So, what are consumers looking for in their health insurance?

In addition to coverage that is appropriate and affordable, today’s consumers are looking for easily consumable information.

About 91% of the consumers in the survey said prices for medical services should be as readily available as prices on a restaurant menu.

Consumers who would like that kind of quick and easy access for medical services will want it for their health insurance products, too.

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Jan Dubauskas serves as vice president and senior counsel at Health Insurance Innovations Inc., which is a distributor of life and health insurance products and the parent of